BOOK REVIEW: “Framing Faith” fails to develop …

If you’re a creative who worships the concept of “story,” you might enjoy “Framing Faith” by Matt Knisely (published by Thomas Nelson). The real story is, this book fails to develop into the inviting read its marketed to be.

Knisely, a noted photo journalist, is a master storyteller with a camera, at least he has the credentials and awards to laud him as such. But his intentions for this book are like a promising roll of film that failed to develop properly in the darkroom.

The table of contents for this book is unique. Under each chapter heading is a paragraph that seems to be a summary statement for the content we should find in that chapter. But Knisely fails to develop those summary statements into compelling content once you arrive at the corresponding chapter.

The book contains an ongoing rant on the priceless value of “story,” but the content is overwhelmed with a rambling on about the value of a photo. With his skills, I would think Knisely could do a masterful job of editing himself, yet we find splashed throughout the contents a profuse rewording of the importance of a picture. He will state how valuable a photo is, and then go on and on saying the same thing, only worded differently. Why his editor didn’t step in on multiple occasions with the insight of, “You’ve already said this … several times, in different ways!” is something that stumps me.

It makes the book into not much more than an artist’s ramblings.

The times Knisely’s writing does shine is when he tells a story. But, as odd as it sounds, he fails to tell very many in this book. Whatever he was really wanting to say through this paperback would have been much better communicated (and far more interesting and beneficial to the readers) if he would have written in a style that meets his strengths by making his points through story telling. Instead, the book is based on using a few skills of a photographer (discovery, attention, purpose, etc.) as chapter subjects. Yet, often I would be reading and think, “Yes, he’s creating a point, I see a point here, he can make this …” and then he moves on, having missed the opportunity to fully develop what seemed to be a point he was going to make. Or could have. It just failed to develop.

Like the book as a whole.

Like an out-of-focus photo, “Framing Faith” is a fuzzy tale you don’t need to make part of your collection.

I received this book free from HarperCollins Christian Publishing as part of
their BookLook book review bloggers program. I was not
required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed
are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal
Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use
of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”